Introduction: Popsicle Stick Crossbow
A simple but powerful crossbow made out of Popsicle sticks with a range of almost 9 meters.
Caution: The bow should not be aimed or shot at any human or animal. Although the bow dose not hurt if you shoot it at your hand at point blank range, it will hurt if it hits someone in the eye!
Step 1: Step 1: Getting the Materials
1. Sand paper (low grain)
2. Popsicle sticks. You will need 30 Popsicle sticks. If you have access to them, using six tongue suppressors makes building the body a lot easier. Tongue depressors are available at most pharmacies.
3. Carpenters Glue
4. White Glue
5. 1 strong springy cloths peg
6. At least 1 C-clamp (I recommend 3) OR you have hold the pieces together with your hands for a long time (At least half an hour depending on the glue)
9. aprox. 6 hours
Step 2: Step 2: Making the Bow
1. Now glue the pop sickle sticks like in the picture.
(The glue points should be 2 cm wide)
2. Use the C-clamps to hold the joints together until the glue is dry.
3. Ok now that the glue has dried use WHITE glue to glue the 2 pieces together at the center.
4. Once the glue is dry, use whatever you decided is sharp enough to cut 4 small 'v' shaped notches 1.5 cm away from the edge on either end of the bow. The notches prevent the string from slipping.
5. Now you have to string the bow. Use a non-elastic string because the power comes from the force of the bent bow, not the string. Tie the string to the notch of one side of the Popsicle stick bow. Then, bend the bow and tie the string over the other side. The bow should arc about 5 cm away from the string.
Step 3: Step 3: Making Bolt
1. By rolling a quarter sheet of magazine paper very tightly you will make a bolt, you have to make the bolt by first folding the sheet a little then put some glue down, fold another layer down then glue, do this 1 more time then start rolling it very tightly.
2. You will notice it is about 3 mm by 5 mm on the front and back, it should be 10 cm long. You need the bolt to be slightly bulge so it will squeeze into the guide rail and still be tall enough to fired by the string.
New: You can also make fin stabilized,anti-cardboard bolts from half a kabob skewer with the tip sharped with sandpaper.
The fins are made with 2 pieces of tape, one on the bottom and one on top so the tape goes around the bolt and sticks together at the sides to form the fins. It should be able to stick itself into cardboard from 1 - 2 meters if you bow is strong enough and the bolt is flying straight.
Step 4: Step 3: Making the Shaft
1a. If you have tongue suppressors, great. Stack them on top of each other, putting wood glue between each layer. Clamp them together with a C-clamp until they're dry. Make sure it is as thick as the bow like in the picture.
1b. If you only have Popsicle sticks, you can glue two together side by side and layer them up in the same way.
Notice: Don't attach the bow at this step.
Step 5: Step 4: Making the Guide Rail
1. Make a guide rail with 2 pop-sickle sticks the pop-sickle sticks should be 3 mm wide, just so the bolt will stick into the guide rail , and stick up so the string will hit it when released.
2. With 2 pieces of Popsicle sticks make the guide rail.
Step 6: Step 5: Firing Mechanism
Notice: you might want to stack the Popsicle sticks Glue on the extension of the guide rail then check if everything is aligned.
1. First extend the shaft to 20 - 21 cm with 2 sticks under the shaft at the end
2. Once the glue dries, cut some Popsicle sticks in half and layer them (with glue) until the middle of the clothespin is the aligned with the guide rail. If the string is released above the guide rail, it will never make contact with the bolt; too far below and the string will catch on the guide rail. Use the sand paper if necessary.
3. Sand the TOP guide rail (don't make the gap bigger) to reduce friction.
4. You should have something like what's in the picture.
Step 7: Step 6: Putting It All Together
1. Take the sand paper and sand down the front of the shaft to make it reasonably flat.
2. Then take the bow and find the exact center, mark it with a pencil.
3. Put a blob of carpenters glue on the front of the shaft.
4. Put the bow on the front at exact center, and pull the bow string back and lock it in the cloths peg, wait one night.
Step 8: Step 7: FIRE!!!
1. Pull the string back and lock it into the back hole of the cloths peg.
2. Put the bolt into the guide rail in front of the cloths peg, press the arrow in gently narrow side first. With the bulge sticking up so when the string is released it will launch the bolt.
3. Aim and...........(DON'T aim at a human OR animal)
4. FIRE!!! (By pressing on the cloths peg it you don't know how)
5. Go find you bolt. (repeat step 1 - 5 to fire again)